Awhile back I posted about what I consider to be a myth, children sleeping through the night. Many of you commented, and some suggested ways I might experience the magical joy of a full night's sleep. After a few months of experimenting, I thought I would update you on our sleeping lives. As if you care!
So, as I mentioned in my first post, I believe (and still do) that first time parents fall into the trap of thinking there is some wonderful age, usually around three or four months, where their child will start sleeping through the night and life will go back to normal and they will forever more be sleeping without any interruptions. The problem is, in my opinion, that idea is crap. A crap idea that I bought hook, line and sinker.
See, there are these things called growth spurts, and sicknesses, or ear infections (ugh!), and nightmares, and loud thunderstorms, and so on. The list of possible night interruptions is endless. Most of the time, once kids start sleeping through the night, they keep it up. But, it does not mean that you will never again be up in the middle of the night. (I think even as they are teenagers, I may be awake some in the middle of the night......maybe not because they are in bed with us, but I think parents still have restless nights even with grown children)
With that being said, many commented that perhaps if I stopped the afternoon napping habit that bedtime would be much easier and my kids would, in fact, sleep through the night without waking up. So, we gave up naps.
Gave. Up. Naps.
Except for Lawson.
Did you catch that? No naps. For anyone. Including me. UGH.
The results? No naps is much, much, much more work than naps. Because, you see, Molly is still tired. And it is serious work to keep her awake throughout the day. If we go somewhere in the afternoon, forget it, she is out in seconds once the car starts moving. And forget putting on a show while I cook dinner. She will be out in a matter of minutes then also. She has been known to fall asleep during dinner! My kids have never been the type to fall asleep anywhere other than their beds. Until now.
BUT, if we manage to keep Molly awake during the day, bedtime is a breeze. And she stays in her bed at night. Mostly. Isabelle has also improved in going to bed. She was never really difficult, but it is easier now. And like Molly, she has improved at staying in her bed throughout the night.
I can't say whether or not I think no naps was a good idea or bad idea. I am so tired from being up with Lawson that a nap really sounds great about 2pm. And, it is serious work to keep Molly awake sometimes. And, the days where I fail, and she falls asleep....bedtime is right back to being a chore. So who knows. I am sure Jason appreciates the decline in the number of nights a little child is crawling into bed with him, but again, they aren't gone altogether.
As for Lawson, I am just hoping and praying that once we have the ear tubes put in, sleeping will go back to normal for him. Only two more weeks until surgery. To the mommas who have been through the ear tube madness, I am so impressed by you. This not sleeping thing is no joke!
I am going to continue the no nap routine. It gives us an earlier bedtime, and usually more sleep at night from the girls, which I like. However, I would hate to give the impression that taking away naps was easy or is easier than what we were doing before. Kids are work. Plain and simple. I only traded one kind of work for another. Lawson will continue to nap for at least another year. And I am counting on the tubes to do the trick at night.
Do your kids take naps? What has been your experience with your kiddos sleeping through the night? I would love to hear your opinion!